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photograph of a Ho-Chunk girl in traditional clothing surrounded by floral beadwork and embroidery and embroidered two birds flying above her head

Strong Unrelenting Spirits: An Artist Talk by Tom Jones

February 18, 2023

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

MMoCA Lecture Hall

227 State Street Madison, WI, 53703


Free Admission

This special lecture is in association with the exhibition Home, a multimedia exhibition currently on view in the Henry Street Gallery.

Tom Jones is an artist, Professor of Photography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation whose work is on view in the exhibition Home. He will discuss how he incorporates traditional Ho-Chunk beading designs in his ongoing photographic series Strong Unrelenting Spirits, which documents the contemporary life of his tribe.

“The beadwork is a metaphor for our ancestors,” Jones says. “I’m drawing on inspiration from Ho-Chunk beadwork, silk applique used on clothing and blankets, and old twined bags.”

Jones’s photography is currently featured in the exhibition Home in the Henry St Gallery, which closes on February 19. As always, admission to the galleries and to artist talks is free. No RSVP is required for this event.

About Tom Jones

Tom Jones (Professor of Photography, University of Wisconsin–Madison) is an artist, curator and educator. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a Master of Fine Arts in Photography and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.

Jones’ artwork is a commentary on identity, culture appropriation, experience and perception within Native America. He is raising questions about these depictions of identity by non-natives and Natives alike. He continues to work on an ongoing photographic essay on the contemporary life of his tribe, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin.

Jones co-authored the book “People of the Big Voice, Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1943.” He is the co-curator for the exhibition and contributing author to the book, “For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw” for the National Museum of the American Indian. He is currently working on a book about Ho-Chunk baskets.

His artwork is in numerous private and public collections, most notably: The National Museum of the American Indian, Sprint Corporation, The Nerman Museum, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Museum of Contemporary of Native Arts, Polaroid Corporation, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, and Microsoft.